Sunday, June 17, 2012

Buttermilk Cherry~Vanilla Bundt Cake

Happy Father's Day!  A day set aside to honor fathers and celebrate fatherhood and the paternal bonds that have influence society.  Coincidentally, the day was founded in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd to honor her father, a single parent and Civil War veteran who raised six children.  She had originally suggested June 5th, which was her dad's birthday, but because the pastors in the area needed more time to prepare sermons, they decided on the 3rd Sunday instead.  It was introduced to Congress in 1913, but it wasn't until Woodrow Wilson came to Spokane in 1916 was it made official.

My husband has been a great father to our two daughters.  He's been protective, supportive, strong, loving, hard-working, but always taking the time to make sure they knew he was there for them.  A story I'd like to share is from when we lived in California.  The girls (age 12 and 10) wanted to walk to the 7-11 and buy a Slurpee.  After a long debate--the pros and cons, they convinced him that they would be very careful crossing the road and come back right after their purchase.  The girls took off walking down the hill and then to the cross street where the 7-11 was.  They came back with their purchase and big smiles.  However, it wasn't until they were adults that their dad admitted he had watched the entire journey with binoculars from the upstairs window!

The inspiration of this cake comes from The First Lady, Michelle Obama's new cookbook, American Gown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, Buttermilk Blueberry Bundt.
We've had very cool weather and unfortunately our blueberries are a few more weeks away, but our cherries are certainly in our Farmer's Markets and along with some of my fragrant Tahitian Vanilla Beans, this cake took on a different look and taste.

Buttermilk Cherry~Vanilla Bundt Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 Vanilla Beans, split and scraped
4 large eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk

2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
1 1/2 cups Biscoff cookies (or Vanilla wafers) crushed  (optional)

Pit and chopped sweet cherries.

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with a non-stick baking spray.
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the softened butter until fluffy.  Add the sugar and continue beating for 5 to 6 minutes on medium speed.  Scrape down the sides.  Add the vanilla beans "paste" and mix to combine.  Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the vanilla extract.

Whisk the dry ingredients together and add alternately with the buttermilk.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium/high one more minute.
Fold the chopped cherries into the batter.

Use a rolling pin to smash about a dozen or more cookies in a plastic bag.   Spoon the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and sprinkle the crushed cookies on top of the cake. Bake in preheated oven 50 to 55 minutes.

Use a wooden skewer poked into the center to test if the cake is done.  Allow to cool in the pan about 20 minutes before tuning out onto a serving plate.  I wanted the crumb topping upright, so I covered a baking sheet with parchment and turn the cake out, then flipped it over and placed in on the serving plate.  Dust with confectioners' sugar to finish it off.
To serve, I ladled a warm Vanilla Sauce around the slice.

Vanilla Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
2 T cornstarch
2 cups boiling water
In a small saucepan, whisk the sugar and cornstarch, then, slowly add the boiling water while continuing to whisk.
Heat on medium until the mixture is thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat and add:
4 T unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 Vanilla bean, split and scraped
Stir to blend.  Ladle or pour this sauce on the plate and add the slice of cake on top.

My hubby arrived home today from a business trip and I know this cake will put a smile on his face...just like our girls had when they thought they had walked down to the 7-11.  Enjoy!




  1. OMG, that looks sooo good! Vanilla, ahhh, love vanilla flavored goodies. That is a wonderful story about your husband! Love it!!

    1. Kathy, I agree! I love chocolate, but then, the pure flavor of vanilla is so heartwarming. We have tons more stories about my hubby--Kelly and Erin could tell the best, some unbelievable. XOXO

  2. Sweet story, perfect for Father's Day!
    Jane x

    1. Jane, I have told your story to several of my friends and my sister and know the apron has found another "Sister" I will call my friend--the strings that bind. Happy Baking, can't wait to see what you create! XOXO

  3. Oh, Susan....what a very sweet story to share with us about your father. I can just imagine him with his binoculars pressed against the window!

    1. Meggie, Actually it was about my husband, Chuck, but I could have included lots about my Dad! When our girls learned that he did this, they were "bummed" then, as they thought about they laughed...they realized, that was their Dad, staying close and letting go! XOXO

    2. Sorry about the mistake, Susan.....That is what I get for reading too early in the morning!

  4. Vanilla bundt cake ~score~ yet again for you, Susan! And, the addition of the cookie topping, wow, you got me!! Have a wonderful week. Hugs!

  5. Love the story about your hubby keeping an eye out for your children as they ventured out for the Slurpee! Being a parent is a constant "letting go" process---sometimes with an eye always watching until we are assured of maturity.
    I'm sure your husband loved his vanilla bundt cake---Yummmy!!
    Martha Ellen

  6. Love the story!
    I haven't thought about making a bundt cake in years! May be time to dig that old pan out of storage! I know I have it SOMEWHERE!

    1. If you can't find it Denise, I recommend the "gold tone" bundt pan that Williams-Sonoma sells. Cakes just slide right out and it's a 12-cup, so you can bake the cakes I feature here. The cake is really delicious and yesterday, I gave some to the gardeners. They said, "we love coming to your house!" I love that;-D

    2. I'll have to check that out! But I know mine is in my kitchen cupboard up high... just haven't taken the time to look yet. I have to drag the step ladder out to see up that high!

  7. Like to try this recipe but don't have vanilla much exact could I use?
    stamping sue

    1. I'd up the extract to 1 tablespoon + 1 tsp. so you get that really nice vanilla flavor. This is a yummy cake, that originally called for blueberries; I think any stone fruit would work well (i.e. peaches, plums, nectarines), but I probably wouldn't try strawberry. Happy Baking! XOXO